Bebas debate on Hadi’s bill to feature Ambiga

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PETALING JAYA: The organisers of a rally last month, against PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill on amending the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), now plan to host a debate on the matter.

On Feb 18, Bebas staged a gathering at the Tasik Taman Jaya in Petaling Jaya, to counter the rally organised by PAS in Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, on the same day in support of Hadi’s bill.

The gathering did gain some attention but not the numbers hoped, with only about 200 people showing up to hear the likes of former minister Zaid Ibrahim and Gerakan youth deputy chief Andy Yong speak on the issue. It was notable that no opposition MPs turned up for the gathering too.

On March 17, however, Bebas will be holding a debate on Hadi’s bill at the Studio, PJ Live Arts, in the Jaya One commercial complex in Petaling Jaya.

The motion to be debated is “RUU355 should be made into law” and it will be in English.

According to a statement made by Bebas today, those for the motion are Aidil Khalid from the Concerned Lawyers for Justice (CLJ) and Lukman Sheriff Alias, a lawyer.

Those against the motion are Ambiga Sreenevasan from the National Human Rights Society of Malaysia (HAKAM) and Haris Ibrahim, lawyer and activist.

“We are organising this debate because we hope that it will encourage discussion among all Malaysians, regardless of their race or religion, on Act 355. Everyone has the right to give their opinion on Act 355 as it’s a bill that will be voted on by MPs who represent all citizens,” Azrul Mohd Khalid of Bebas said.